A Letter From Joe Alleva
LSU Sports Interactive
The new year brought with it a new trophy to LSU football as we celebrated our first Fiesta Bowl with a win in Glendale, Arizona. Coach O and his staff did a masterful job preparing the team in the face of tremendous adversity. A 10-win season is something to celebrate and build off of for years to come. The entire team and support staff worked tirelessly all season to block out the noise, set their own standard for excellence and to build a foundation that will help this program compete for championships. They did exactly that and I congratulate them on all their success as we look forward to welcoming a new class and a new season in 2019.
A record-breaking crowd was on hand last week to celebrate LSU Gymnastics in a great win over No. 8 Cal. They were also there to celebrate a milestone in the SEC. Coach D-D Breaux is now the longest-tenured head coach in the history of the conference. For forty-two years, Coach Breaux has represented LSU with passion, strength and determination. She has built one of the best programs in all of college sports and is one of the truly great all-time ambassadors for LSU.
D-D represents all that the LSU family is about. We are passionate, hardworking, driven and forever loyal to the purple and gold.
The list of members of this family who embody those and other great characteristics is long. D-D is certainly on that list. As is Devin White, the 2018 winner of the Butkus Award as the top linebacker in college football, whose talent, work ethic, character and leadership were on full display throughout the season and into the bowl game.
Right alongside Devin was Nick Brossette who embodies so much of what we love about LSU. A Baton Rouge native who always dreamed of wearing the purple and gold, Nick worked as hard as anyone, and waited patiently for his opportunity to shine. He finished the year with more than 1,000 yards rushing. There are so many of these stories of LSU pride it’s impossible to put them on in one letter. But for all of our student-athletes and coaches who represent this place with such loyalty and pride, know that we appreciate you and your efforts every day. You are and will always be family.
The SEC portion of our basketball schedule is officially underway and yesterday Coach Nikki Fargas and the Lady Tigers had a big win over nationally-ranked Texas A&M at the PMAC. It was a great way to get conference play started and a victory that Coach Fargas and her team will build on. Tomorrow night, the men will begin their conference schedule against Alabama, which is coming off an upset of Kentucky. I want to challenge our fans, and especially our students, to pack the PMAC in support of Coach Will Wade and the team in this SEC opener. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Indoor season for track begins this week with the team competing at LSU at the end of the month. We’re also excited to open our newest sports venue, the nation’s top beach volleyball facility at the former “Dub” Robinson Tennis Stadium. The renovations are complete and the fun and festive outdoor atmosphere will be great for our fans, especially our students. The home schedule begins February 16.
Also in February, our diamond sports once again begin their seasons with high expectations. Coach Beth Torina and Coach Paul Mainieri both have incredible freshmen classes coming in, with top returners at nearly every position. We expect both teams will compete for championships and we know our fans are going to be out in full to support their efforts and to celebrate the return of baseball and softball at LSU.
The year 2018 was a great year for LSU Athletics. It was made possible by all of you, our fans. Your support, your passion and your enthusiasm for all things purple and gold are what motivate and drive us to improve every day. 2019 looks to be special and I cannot wait to take the journey with all of you.